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Cleveland Jewish community reacts to synagogue attack in Texas

On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the aftermath of the latest attack on a synagogue in the U.S. [TaliV/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the aftermath of the latest attack on a synagogue in the U.S. [TaliV/shutterstock]

A little over a week ago, a Rabbi and three congregants were held hostage nearly 11 hours inside a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. 

According to the hostages, the armed gunman believed in a conspiracy that Jewish people ruled America, and thought that if he took them hostage he could compel the United States government to release an convicted Pakastani terrorist from a federal prison just a few miles distant.

To escape, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker threw a chair at the gunman, which allowed the captives to run to safety. FBI agents were approaching from another part of the building at the same time, and fatally shot the gunman moments later. 

Via a Facebook post, the rabbi said he was thankful for all the security training that helped save them, and he added, "I am grateful to be alive." 

While there were no victim deaths in this synagogue crisis, there have been two other deadly attacks in the past few years, including in April 2019, when a far-right shooter attacked a synagogue in California, and killed one congregant. 

That closely followed the deadliest mass killing of Jews in American history six months prior, when the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked by a far-right shooter. He believed Jews responsible for mass nonwhite immigration. 11 Jewish lives were taken, including of some members who had survived the holocaust. 

On today's "Sound of Ideas," we'll talk to locals about the aftermath of this latest synagogue attack, in terms of response from the community, as well as prevention and training efforts. 

Also this hour, we'll talk to Kate Warren about her work with the Greater Cleveland American Rescue Plan Council, which aims to track and influence the federal relief money coming into Cleveland and Ohio. 

- Kate Warren, Director, Greater Cleveland American Rescue Plan Council, Center for Community Solutions 
- James Pasch, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League 
- Jim Hartnett, Director of Community-wide security, Jewish Federation of Cleveland 
- Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, Senior Rabbi, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple 
- Jonathan Greenblatt, President and CEO, Anti-Defamation League 

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”